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02.

24: Legal Concepts and Construction Contracts

CE 02.24

Legal Concepts and Construction Contracts


Dr. Stephen O. Ogunlana School of Civil Engineering Asian Institute of Technology
September, 2000

Dr. Stephen O. Ogunlana

Legal Concepts and Construction Contracts

CONSTRUCTION AND THE LEGAL SYSTEM

Dr. Stephen O. Ogunlana

Aim
Legal Concepts and Construction Contracts

To familiarize students with the English system of law. To begin discussions on the system of law in the different countries in Asia.

Dr. Stephen O. Ogunlana

Construction Law
Legal Concepts and Construction Contracts

All law related to the practice of construction or that affects construction.


Substantive Law

Dr. Stephen O. Ogunlana

Law which lays down the rights and duties of individuals.


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Legal Concepts and Construction Contracts

State Criminal law, Planning law, Tax law, etc.

Person A

Person B

Dr. Stephen O. Ogunlana

Figure 1.1: The Laws Between Persons and State


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Things to Note Regarding the Law


Legal Concepts and Construction Contracts

1. The law must resolve all disputes/problems. No problem is indeterminate. 2. There is no simplification of the law to fit cases. 3. The law does not work on the basis of pure logic. The principles are inducted, not deducted. 4. The latest law should be applied.
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Dr. Stephen O. Ogunlana

Categories of English Law


Legal Concepts and Construction Contracts

1. Substantive law:(defines rights and duties - tort, contract, crime, etc.); and procedure (the process that should be followed in applying substantive law). 2. Common law (judge made) and statute law (legislation). 3. Private law and public law.
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Dr. Stephen O. Ogunlana

Legal Concepts and Construction Contracts

4. Common law (applied generally in the English realm) and equity. Statutes

The law passed by the parliament. This is supreme in the land.

Dr. Stephen O. Ogunlana

Rules and Regulations


Legal Concepts and Construction Contracts

Other bodies have been given authority by the parliament to make rules and regulations in their areas of jurisdiction. These may be called rules, regulations or bye-laws.

Dr. Stephen O. Ogunlana

Equity
Legal Concepts and Construction Contracts

The common law remedy for breach of contract is damages. However, the plaintiff may not be adequately compensated by the damages. Equity may force the defender to fulfil obligations.

Dr. Stephen O. Ogunlana

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Where to Find the Written Law


Legal Concepts and Construction Contracts

1. Law reports
2. Statutes (gazettes)

3. Regulations, bye-laws, etc. 4. Law text books. The Law Courts in a country may be as shown in Figure 2.
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Dr. Stephen O. Ogunlana

Supreme Court
Legal Concepts and Construction Contracts

Court of Appeal

New case
High Courts

New case

Magistrate Courts (Lower and Upper)

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New case Customary and District Courts


Figure 2: Example Structure of the Courts
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